I’ve recently started painting flowers. Sometimes I like the results, sometimes I don’t. Once I’m done with my Obra Maestra, I will compare my work from the reference photo. Once I see how huge the difference is, I would ask myself, why am I wasting my time here? It takes me hours to sketch the flower and then smother it with watercolor, which is not the friendliest medium of all. And the results are nowhere near my expectations. But I do it again anyway because they fill my cup and keep me sane.
Make Time To Do the Things That Bring You Joy
Lately, I felt like I don’t have enough time in a day (after work, of course) to cater to my extracurricular activities. I write, paint, and sing, and when I’m done, it’s almost midnight. At one point, I made a schedule of them in my journal like twice a week writing, twice a week singing, twice a week painting, and one ‘free’ day when I could choose what I want to do or do nothing at all. Plus, I have to add reading books and articles. Where can I get extra time?
The schedule was never followed through. Painting happens on day-offs. Writing and reading and some occasional singing occur after work.
If you are reading this, you might think I have a lot of time in the world to do all these hobbies. Well, you are correct. After work, and after my daily swim, and then after dinner, I have all the time to do what I wanted to do. Because what else can I do on the island?
But on the other hand, I can tell you that it’s not about ‘I have a lot of time,’ but ‘I make time for what I love to do.’ There’s a difference there.
I could have a lot of time here and hang around at the bar and drink, or binge-watch Kdramas or lie on my bed and step into the social media black hole. There’s nothing wrong with all the things I mentioned. It’s just that at the end of the day, the question is, where do I get the fulfillment? What can I do that will make me feel happy by the end of the day? Is it about the Piña colada or Vanilla shake from the bar? No, it’s not.
You Don’t Have to Be Good. You Just Need to Feel Good.
There are small things we can do to make ourselves happy. In my case, whenever I paint these flowers, I enjoy the process. I would play acoustic music in the background, sit on the floor for hours until I feel the muscles of my legs cramp. I would stand up for a short break and take coffee, then get back to work again. It keeps my thoughts away from any stressful matters. For that moment, I only focus on how I could mix the colors.
The same thing goes with writing stories. Recently I have been writing funny stories, and no matter how stupid they seem, I actually laughed while writing the character’s thoughts and dialogues. When they laugh, I also laugh. They are like mini extensions of myself.
The results are the cherry on the top. The process is what really creates the fun.
There are lots of small things that could bring us happiness daily. It doesn’t have to be significant. It could be anything that gives you a smile and a sense of fulfillment. It could be watering your plants, baking muffins, sketching, playing a musical instrument (mastering Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on Kalimba like Salbehe), or coloring your hair.
You don’t have to be good at painting before you should start painting. You don’t have to be good at writing before you should start writing. You don’t have to be good at cooking before you should begin cooking, just like you don’t have to be good at walking before you should start walking.
You just have to do what you want to do and feel good about it.